Get Moving and Grooving with the Trego Recreation Commission

Trego County is hopping into Spring with great programs and events from the Trego Recreation Commission!

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Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Look for the Easter Bunny’s arrival on March 31st at 10:30am when he delivers his goodies to Downtown WaKeney’s Courthouse Square. Bring children from six months to 5th grade with their baskets to find candy-filled eggs and enjoy a morning outside celebrating with their friends. Groups will be sent out according to their ages and, afterwards, Mr. Bunny’s helpers will be hosting a prize drawing for each age group.

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Don’t forget to turn in the plastic eggs at the end of the hunt so we can return them to the Easter Bunny for next year!

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Daddy Daughter Prom 2018

Put on your dancing shoes, dads, because it’s time to escort your little princess to Daddy Daughter Prom!

Share a special memory with your daughter or special little girl (ages 3 to5th grade) before she’s too big to dance on the tips of your shoes. Our prom is a festive event designed for your special little lady, with a decorated “ballroom” at the TCHS Commons Area and a beautiful Corsage for her dress included.


The registration deadline for this event is April 6th and the prom will be held on April 15th. Doors open at 1:30pm for a professional photography session (two-4×6″ photos are included in the registration fee) and the dance will begin at 2pm and go to 3:30pm. The registration fee is $20 per couple and $5 each additional registrant.

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Spring and Summer Rec Programs

The crack of a bat, the twang of a racket and the sound of a roaring crowd–we’ll soon be hearing these sounds of summer all over WaKeeney when the Trego Recreation Commission’s summer sports programs begin.

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Photo by Meredith Bell

For the little athletes, the Rec Commission has put together a program that includes soccer flag football, t-ball and a Pee Wee Track Meet. There are also camps and summer programs that are currently being planned, so watch for more information to come. Registration is already open for some of the programs and the rest will be opening up soon.

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Photo by Nellis Air Force Base

There are a wide variety of adult and teen sports to choose from. Baseball and softball, sand volleyball, yoga, tennis and golf, to name a few. Plus, special events such as a horseshoe tournament, co-ed softball tournaments and pitch machine baseball tournament. Teams are forming now, so contact the Recreation Commission for more information.

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For more information about all the great activities planned this spring and summer visit the Trego Recreation Commission’s website. They’ve got all the activities you’ll need to have fun in the sun!




Exploring the Trails of Castle Rock and the Badlands

With it’s wide open vistas and gently rolling hills, Trego County’s beautiful prairie provides a tranquil High Desert setting, but this dusty landscape hides a secret. It was once part of an amazing waterway called the Western Interior Seaway. You can find out more about that ancient seascape on a hike around Castle Rock and it’s adjoining Badlands.

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These amazing 70-foot rock formations were created during the mid-to-late Cretaceous period and very early Paleogene Era when the sea split the continent of North America into two landmasses. Water from the north flowed down the center of what is now the North American continent, emptying out into the Gulf of Mexico and carving out a trough between the Rocky and the Appalachian Mountain ranges. Throughout this time, millions of pre-historic sea creatures left their remains in the chalk and shale seabed where they fossilized over the course of 80 million years.

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Fossilized Oyster Shells, Image by James St. John

Castle Rock and it’s adjoining Badlands is a geologist’s and paleontologist’s playground. Along the trails that crisscross the rock outcroppings, earthen pyramids, and striking white towers, or hoodoos, you’ll find the remains of sharks, mollusks, ammonites, plesiosaurs–a predatory marine reptile–giant shellfish, mosasaurs, and squid-like animals, among many others. You’ll also find fossils of the plankton-like animals that secreted the chalky platelets that give the Cretaceous Period its name and remnants of animals that roamed our prairie in more recent ancient times, like the great mammoths of the pre-historic era.

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Castle Rock gained more historical significance during America’s pioneering days when it became an identifying landmark on the Smoky Hill Trail and the Butterfield Overland Despatch. What a surprise it must have been for travelers when, after days of flat earth travel, they came upon a hidden valley of chalky cliffs!

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Today’s families love the wide-open spaces and trails they find at Castle Rock and the Badlands and this is a great time to explore. The nooks and crannies can be a cozy home to modern-day wild animals, so keep an eye and ear out for snakes. The trails are all unmarked and in their natural state, with no railings or steps to aid climbers, and some of the rocks are unstable, so wear good hiking shoes.

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Image by Sereph1888

Traveling to Castle Rock and the Badlands will take you over dirt roads and onto private property, whose owners graciously allow visitors to enter with the expectation that they respect the area and take care not to damage the site. You can make the trip over the unpaved roads in a passenger car if you go slow but it is better in a SUV or pick-up, and always be aware of the constantly changing weather conditions. And, photographers–don’t forget your cameras for amazing shots of this mythical looking landscape!

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To visit, turn south on Banner Road from Collyer (Exit #115) look for the turnoff to the Castle Rock and it’s Badlands roughly 12.4 miles south of I-70 at Trego County U Road. Turn west (right) on U Rd. and go 2.8 miles into Gove County on K Road. Look for signs pointing north to Castle Rock to guide you into the pasture, then follow the path, crossing the cattle guard and driving to the bluff that overlooks Castle Rock.


After visiting the site, stop in at WaKeeney’s Trego County Historical Society to see just a few of the fossils that have been recovered at Castle Rock and the Badlands. There is a great group of fossils gathered by amateur and professional paleontologists in the Leonard and Irene Purinton Collection.

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Together, Castle Rock and it’s adjoining Badlands were named as one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas by the Kansas Sampler Foundation in 2008 and is a must-do on your Kansas travel bucket list. It is a fantastic landscape with a secret past that continues to be revealed in layers of Trego County’s prairie.

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Trego Community High School Hosts Sub-State Basketball Tournaments

Come out to  Trego Community High School (TCHS) cheer on your favorite local basketball stars when the high school boys’ and girls’ teams compete in the Class 2A sub-state tournament beginning Monday, February 26th in WaKeeney.

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Eight teams are scheduled to walk onto the Trego Golden Eagles’ court next week in the first round of the tournament. It’s the start of a full week of exciting basketball action that will lead to the girls’ semi-final games, set for Thursday, March 1st at 6pm, and the boys’ semi-final games scheduled for the following night, Friday, March 2nd at the same time. Come back on Saturday, March 3rd to find out which teams grab the title of Sub-State Champion and go on to compete for the title of 2A state champion on March 5th – 9th at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. The girls’ game begins at 6pm and the boys will follow its conclusion. (Check out the brackets on the Kansas State High School Athletic Association’s website for more information.)


WaKeeney welcomes the fans and athletes of the Class 2A schools–Ellis Railroaders, Hill City Ringnecks, Hoxie Indians, Oakley Plainsmen, Oberlin-Decatur Red Devils, Plainville Cardinals and St. Francis Indians–when they arrive in town for the week-long sports event. We’ve got ten restaurants, five motels and downtown shopping to keep you well-fed, rested and entertained between games.

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Catch the last of the 2017-2018 high school basketball season at the Sub-State Tournament in WaKeeney, Kansas. It will take place in the TCHS gym beginning at 7pm Monday, February 26th with the TCHS girls’ game occurring in WaKeeney. (The first TCHS boys’s game will be played at St. Francis on Tuesday, February 27th at 7pm.)

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Follow Your Heart for A Memorable Valentine’s Day in WaKeeney

Creating the perfect Valentine’s Day is the goal of everyone who wants to express his or her love for a special someone. Of course, there are many ways to do that, with magical moments and thoughtful gifts to give. Lucky for us, all can be found in WaKeeney.

For the Romantic

If you want the classic Valentine’s Day experience make a call to Brazen Bull and reserve an intimate table at their Valentine’s Day event.

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The Brazen Bull, WaKeeney’s newest restaurant has teamed up with Main Street Giftery to provide an extra special treat for Valentines. Reserve your table at their Valentine’s Night event where jazz and blues artist Eric Nevins (The DOK) and culinary artist Zach Gibbs will create the perfect setting for an intimate candlelight dinner for two. A special room has been planned for the event and for a less formal dining option without a reservation couple can enjoy a meal in the main dining room.

Main St. Giftery will be on hand to present a dozen beautiful premium wrapped roses at your table, and Chef Gibbs has prepared a scrumptious cheesecake and hand dipped tuxedo strawberries to end the dinner on a sweet note. Call for reservations. (785.743.2653)

Gifts From the Heart

A thoughtful gift is always appreciated on Valentines Day, and in WaKeeney you’ll find something for everyone.

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Main St. Giftery & Floral

For those Valentines who have a sweet tooth we recommend a visit to the Main Street Giftery. Along with a selection of artisan chocolates and confections, you’ll also see decorative pieces and fashion accessories that make perfect gifts.

Main St. Giftery & Floral is offering several Valentine’s Day specials this year including a collection of roses, balloons, chocolates, and even a tuxedo clad delivery service. Check out their Facebook page for the specifics of each package.

A Bountiful Bouquet

Bring your Valentine a beautiful bouquet of flowers from WaKeeney’s newest flower shop, the Rose Petal Cottage. They can fashion any type of arrangement, from a dozen long-stemmed red roses, to a simple carnation vase. Every flower has a meaning and the florists at Rose Petal Cottage will help you choose just the right combination for the message you want to share.

Studio 128

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If you want to give your loved one an extra special gift you should schedule a visit to Studio 128 where all the supplies await you to create a special, one-of-a-kind gift that comes straight from your heart (and your hand, too!) Bring your idea and Studio 128 will provide everything else you need to create a masterpiece for your favorite someone.


Gibson Health Mart

Head to Gibson Health Mart for a large selection of traditional boxes of candies and a wide selection of other gifts, like a rose colored watch. Gibson’s selection of jewelry is available year-round with beautiful gifts for your special someone. And, for little Valentines, this is the place to find the much-loved packages of school-aged Valentine’s cards.

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Nothing is as intimate as a shared bottle of wine, and Shiloh Vineyard has a great selection of beautiful wines from grapes grown right here in Trego County. Reds or whites, bold or delicate; Shiloh wines can provide you with a great wine to toast your loved one.

 Eat Your Heart Out

The classic celebration of Valentine’s Day is done with dinner out at your favorite restaurant. WaKeeney has a great selection of restaurants that pours all their love for great food into the dishes they serve.

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Jake & Chet’s & Sundowner Lounge

Jake and Chet’s serves classic American roadside diner food, and after the meal is through you can head to their adjoining bar, the Sundowner Lounge for an evening cocktail. The Sundowner has a full bar of wine, cocktails and beer.


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The Western Kansas Saloon & Grill on Main Street is a well-loved piece of WaKeeney history that prides itself on their plates of flavorful entrees and sweet desserts. The Old West atmosphere creates a memorable evening for couples who want to escape the everyday and celebrate the beautiful moments in their lives.



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For a casual night out with your loved one enjoy a meal at Mike’s Place. This is the perfect place to take the man in your life. There are pool tables and a menu full of great pub grub and beers that men love.


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End the night with an exotic and decadent dessert at Tropical Mexican Restaurant. Their menu includes this beautiful Banana Frita with Ice Cream dish that is perfect for sharing. Their entire menu is filled with yummy authentic Mexican dishes, plus a few surprises, too!


This Valentine’s Day fall in love with WaKeeney, Kansas and we’ll provide everything you need for a memorable holiday with your beloved!

Start Your New Year with a Workout at the Trego County Wellness Center

Time to hit the gym and tackle that New Year’s resolution, and Trego County’s Wellness Center in WaKeeney is fully equipped to help you reach your goal to look and feel your best in 2018!

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At the Wellness Center you’ll find a multitude of ways to get fit. Their weight rooms feature machines that can help guide your workout, as well as free weights that strengthen your body, keeps you focused, and increases muscle definition.

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You’ll find racks of dumbbells and specialized machines to target different muscle groups and both rooms are designed with mirrors to assist you in making the most of your workout.

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If you want to add cardio to your workout, the Trego Wellness Center has you covered, too. Cross trainers, cycles, elliptical machines, climbers, and adaptive motion trainers are available for use to strengthen your heart and lungs.

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Don’t miss out on the fun group workout sessions held in the center’s indoor tennis facilities. The center is home to the only indoor tennis court in Western Kansas and is used for yoga and aerobics classes, as well as tennis matches. (Contact the Trego Recreation Commission to reserve court time.)

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Center Director Jim Briel and his team can help you get familiar with all the equipment and update you on the latest news regarding the many sports programs offered by the Trego Recreation Commission throughout the year.

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Whether you are an old pro or a novice in the weight room, the Trego Wellness Center in WaKeeney, Kansas can help you get started in achieving your health goals for 2018!

The Romance and Reality of the Old West at the Trego County Historical Society

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Old West lore is filled with wild and tragic stories of tough men and women looking for their version of the American Dream on the Western frontier. Their journeys often led them to saloons and bawdy houses populating the cowtowns that popped up on the unsettled prairie.

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In celebration of Kansas Day, the Trego County Historical Society welcomes Marla Matkin, an independent scholar and living history performer, to entertain us with their stories in a living history presentation called “Cowboys and Soiled Doves.”

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Matkin’s love for history developed at an early age and she has spent her life studying the complex lives of legendary Western heroes brought to life in books and on-screen. She now shares these stories through a character she’s created named Contessa, ragling audiences with a “first-hand” account of what life was really like in the boomtowns and upon the range of America’s empty interior. With a twinkle in her eye and tantalizing sense of humor, she describes a world where grit and determination won the day.

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Matkin traces her roots back to southwest Kansas, where in 1877 her great-grandparents claimed a homestead near Dodge City, a town notorious for hosting legendary characters, such as Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. Today, Matkin calls WaKeeney’s northern neighbor, Hill City, her home and for twenty years she has performed as Contessa throughout the Midwest and further, including at the Smithsonian, Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and several National Park Service sites.

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Matlin’s program will be the highlight of the Historical Society’s annual Kansas Day program. During your visit, you can also explore the museum’s large collection of Western artifacts. Many of the pieces come from local families, providing guests of the museum deeper insight into the history of Trego County through the stories of its citizens, past and present.

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Please join us at the Trego County Historical Society on Sunday, January 21st at 2pm for their annual Kansas Day celebration featuring living history performer Marla Matkin’s presentation on “Cowboys and Soiled Doves.”

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Complete Your Holiday Shopping List in WaKeeney, the Christmas City of the High Plains

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Only ten days left until everyone starts checking under the Christmas tree for the gifts they’ve been looking forward to all year long!

Whether you are a shopaholic who loves to find the perfect gift or a procrastinating Scrooge who waits until the last moment, you can find a special surprise for everyone on your shopping list in WaKeeney, the Christmas City of the High Plains.


For the Fashionistas

Dressing up for the holidays is a pre-requisite for lovers of fashion, and Shear Designs has you covered for every holiday party with the latest trends in women’s clothing.

Put the finishing touches on with the help of custom jewelry from Gibson’s Health Mart. There are many beautiful choices in necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to fit every outfit.


For the Enthusiasts

Whether you are shopping for a tech guru, tinkerer or gear-head, you’ll find fun tools and gadgets to support their favorite hobbies or specialized work.

Find fun gadgets for the fix-it people in your life at Keyser Hardware Store. Wonderful surprises fill every aisle of this store, but be careful to not step on a elf who might be looking for a part for Santa’s Workshop.

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Nex-Tech has the latest technology in smartphones, iPhones, Androids and tablets, along with all the accessories that will light up the faces of any tech guru when she or he opens their gift.

Help the car lovers in your family to dress up their wheels with automotive supplies from Wheatbelt Distributors and Dreher Automotive. You might even see Santa purchasing parts to soup up the sleigh while you’re shopping!

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For the Home

Everyone wants the perfect Christmas look for his or her holiday gatherings. With the help of home goods stores in WaKeeney you’ll find the finishing touches for your festivities.

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Trade in that eyesore recliner for a comfy new couch at Newcomer Furniture Store. They carry top brands with beautiful choices in styles, fabrics, and colors and their helpful elves can provide you with help to find just the right look for your home.

Deck the walls with your own masterpiece created at The Studio 128. They have all the supplies to support your arts and crafts inspiration. Afterwards, let Custom Printing Shop put a frame around it and you’ll have the finishing touches for a charming new look.

Boeve Antiques has unique gifts that will not only look great in your home but also be a great conversation starter for your guests. Some pieces are local finds and some come from far away—maybe even the North Pole! (Call ahead for hours.)

Merry moments call for festive flower arrangements from Main St. Giftery & Floral! Table arrangements, bouquets and poinsettias will add the flare this happy holiday season deserves.


For Health and Beauty

Spruce yourself up with a new hairstyle from one of WaKeeney’s beauty salons, New Creations, Lavonne’s Beauty Shop and Vintage Soul. Get a quick cut for everyday, or ask for a fancy updo for your next party night out.

If you’re looking to reclaim your vitality during this busy holiday season stop by Cleland Pharmacy to stock up on vitamins, minerals and herbs that can head off seasonal colds before they get you down.

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For the Table

Look no further for all the ingredients you’ll need for your holiday meal! WaKeeney’s grocers, bakers and liquor stores can help you stock up for your Christmas Day gathering.

Create your Christmas feast from soup to nuts with help from Heartland Foods. Fill your cart with custom-cut meats, fresh produce and all the fixin’s for the perfect meal to share with your family.

Don’t forget dessert! Pre-order pies, cakes, rolls, and more from Hometown Bakery for that “fresh-from-the-oven” taste and your guests are sure to ask for seconds.

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No celebration is complete without a celebratory sip of a cocktail or wine. Pit Road Liquor, Earl Liquor Store and Shiloh Vineyard & Winery boast a great selection of wine, liquor, beer and cider to add to your festivities.



For You!

Whew! Your shopping is complete and you deserve a little treat. Stop in for a tasty meal at one of WaKeeney’s many great restaurants.

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The Western Kansas Saloon & Grill, Brazen Bull, Mike’s Place and Jake & Chet’s Café serve a full menu of plated meals that include burgers, steaks, salads and sandwiches.

Or, go south-of-the-border at Tropical Mexican Restaurant or enjoy an Italian fest at our local Pizza Hut. For a quick meal stop in at Dairy Queen, McDonalds or Subway to satisfy your hunger pains as you head home from your day of shopping.

This year bring your Christmas Shopping list to WaKeeney and enjoy a day of shopping in the Christmas City of the High Plains!